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AlWood Class of 1960 History
School bells rang for the first time for most of us (Some had gone to kindergarten) in Alpha in September, 1948, Our beloved teacher was Mrs. Helen Sheesley.
We were Carl Anderson, John Anderson, Mary Margret Beck, Diane Bodeen, Judy Bowman, Joan Briggs, Ronnie Buban, Irene Collingwood, Roger Hurstrom, Florence Johnson, Susan Johnson, Jim Krueger, Mike Lowery, Janet McLaughlin, Nancy Miller, Jim Nelson, Rollin Setterdahl, Ronnie Sims, Tom Smith, Jerry Swanson, Karen Swanson, Glenn Taylor, Lanny Turner, Kenny Underwood, Georgia Wells, and Ronne Zuidema. Connie Nelson, the first addition to our class, came in March.
In Woodhull, with Mrs. Anona Palm to guide our little footsteps, we also answered the call to education. We were Randy Barman, Terry Bolin, David Carlson, Harvey Carlson, Shirly DeWalle, Virginia Dueysin, Dan Genisio, Gary Hammerlund, Isabel Holden, Jack Hunt, David Larson, Eddie Larson, Robert Litton, Sandra McDowell, Shirley Munson, Jimmy Ole, Donita Peterson, John Peterson, Kay Peterson, Tom Strandberg, Shirley Swanson, and Darwin Swanson. Shirley DeWalle left soon after.
We Alpha kids came back to school to find Mrs. Helen Whimpey our teacher. Christine Goodwin joined us, but soon left. Kenny Underwood and Mary Beck left to go to school in Orion. Roger Hurstrom was with us the second semester.
In Woodhull, our second grade teacher was Mrs. Marjory Johnson. Because of illness, Randy Barman Eddie Larson, and Shirley Swanson decided to try the first grade again. We gained Jerry Melton from the class ahead of us.
In Alpha, we again had a Whimpey for our third year teacher. Mrs. Ruby Whimpey this time. During the course of the year, Pat Clarke and Rollin Swanson came from New Windsor, and Reed Hughes from Denver joined us. We made a trade with Woodhull this year. Irene Collingwood went there, and Danny Genisio came here.
Back in the Woodhull Grade School in 1950, our teacher was Mrs. Fern Carlson. Marinda Kessler came here from Macomb, but David Carlson and Jimmy Ole moved away.
Our fourth grade teacher in Alpha was Mrs. Ortrude Rice. Kent Hampton, Caroline Pople, and Marvin Taylor came this year. Glenn Taylor moved to Woodhull and Nancy Allen tearfully came and went. Again, Roger Hurstrom was with us the last half of the year.
Our teacher in Woodhull this year was Miss. Florence Scott. We gained Melvina Campbell and Jerry Swanson, and Glenn and Irene from Alpha.
Fifth grade in Alpha under Mrs. Georgia Dickson saw many moves. We gained Terry Bollinger, Steve Descamps, Barbara McCurdy, Nina Rodenbaugh, Sharon Stamp, and Mary Frances Watson. Glenn and Marvin Taylor came back from Woodhull, but Marvin soon move back again. Kent Hampton moved back and forth to Springfield and Woodhull so many times that no one could keep count. Finally he stayed. Sharon Stamp and Tom Smith moved to Orion, Terry Bollinger to Winola, and Mary Frances Watson and Steve Descamps also moved.
This year at Woodhull, our teacher was Mrs. Margret Peterson. We gained Marilyn Barlow, Kent Hampton, Bill Simkins, Reagan Wilson, and Bonnie Philhart, who soon moved.
When we began Sixth grade, the AlWood District consolidated the lower grades and with many misgivings on both sides, we gathered at the old Woodhull Grade School building. Despite our fears that: “I just know we won’t like those kids,” and “that old building is about to fall in a heap.” We made friends. Our teachers were Mrs. Adda Mortenson and Dan Hegwood. Altogether, we included Carl Anderson, John Anderson, Marilyn Barlow, Diane Bodeen, Terry Bolin, Judy Bowman, Joan Briggs, Ronnie Buban, Milvina Campbell, Harvey Carlson, Judy Cathcart, Pat Clarke, Irene Collingwood, Virginia Dueysen, Dan Genisio, Gary Hammerland, Reed Hughes, Florence Johnson, Susan Johnson, Marinda Kessler, Jim Krueger, David Larson, Robert Litton, Mike Lowery, Barbara McCurdy, Sandra McDowell, Janet McLaughlin, Jerry Meston, Nancy Miller, Shirley Munson, Connie Nelson Jim Nelson, Ton Noy, Donita Peterson, John Peterson, Caroline Pople, Nina Rhodenbaugh, Rollin Setterdahl, Bill Simkins, Ronnie Sims, Tom Strandberg, Lorene Strange, Darwin Swanson, Jerry Swanson, Karen Swanson, Rollin Swanson, Glenn Taylor, Marvin Taylor, Lanny Turner, Alice Vancil, Georgia Wells, Reagan Wilson, and Ronnie Zuidema.
Virginia Dueyson and Irene Collingwood left us and Melvina Campbell went to Bushnell, David Larson to Denver, and Carl Anderson to Wisconsin.
Our seventh year brought a new experience as we entered Junior High in Alpha with Mrs. Alice Shetler and Mr. L.C. Johnson as our teachers. During the year, we gained Karolyn Watters from Rock Island, Connie Henrickson from Winola, Don Neer, Ellen Lenz, John Wills, Steve Descamps, and Jeff Kask, and lost Ronnie Sims and Virginia Dueyson to Rock Island, Jerry Swanson, John Wills, and Reagan Wilson. Marinda Kessler had moved to Galesburg during the summer
Before school began for our eighth year, Glenn Taylor had moved to Rock Island, Lorene Strange to Galesburg, and Sandra McDowell to Arizona. Our teachers were Miss. Dorothy Mott and Mr. Albert Miller. The additions to our class were Jerry Creek, Camella Green, Mike Nelson, Tom Smith, Ralph Storm, and Bill Stull. Bob Pitts must have found something or someone in our class interesting because that’s where he stayed. Because of being in the hospital with arthritic rheumatism, Ralph Storm wasn’t with us for long. Camella Green, Barbara McCurdy, Jerry Melton, and Jeff Kask moved out of the district.
September 1958 marked the beginning of the Class of ’60. Diane Bushnell, Joy Driscoll, Jack Nimrick, Milly Rex, and Arlene Wright came this year and Bill Simpkins and Mike Nelson went. Martha Hesse was with us for five months.
Our sophomore year, beginning September 1957, brought us into our new high school. We were so proud of it! We were the first class to begin its sophomore year in this new building. This year we gained Janice Aden from ROVA and Linda Sinclair and Mary Kay Smith, both of whom stayed only a few months. We lost Jerry Creek to Winola, Bob Pitts to the Air Force, Nina Rhodenbaugh to Sherrard, and Arlene Wright. Virginia Guldenzopf also came this year.
We began our junior year with many hopes and ambitions. We had learned from the previous year that high school was a new and wonderful experience and we wanted to begin the year right. We were now able to hold offices in Student Council and participate in Varsity Athletics. We were finally growing up! New additions to our class were Richard Bowen from Knoxville, Dick Dahl from Alexis and Jim Hemm from Sherrard. None of those boys completed the year with us. Bill Stull left us in the middle of the year and we lost Janice Aden, Virginia Hammond, Connie Henrickson, and Milly Rex during the following summer.
August, 1959, school opened on another year. We were seniors now and as we entered the doors for our last and final year, we could feel the prestige that this position bestows. This was the year for making new vows, and setting higher goals. This was our last chance to gain the education needed to enter the world with a mature and intelligent attitude. This year we added one more to our class, Bruce Paul, from Bushnell, but we lost two of our classmates—Gary Hammerlund and Marvin Taylor.
As this school year steadily comes to an end, we, as seniors, look back on the events of the past year. We remember the trophies we won and our last game. We think of all the days of school we missed because of the snow and how muddy the roads were in the spring. We think of baseball games and track meets and the athletic banquet. We remember how hard we worked on the annual and how proud we were of the final result.
We think of all the homework we’ve done, all the report cards we’ve taken home to be signed, all the class and organization meetings, all the parties and fun we’ve had with our friends. We remember our Junior-Senior Prom and the wonderful time we had way into the wee hours of the morning. We think of band and chorus and how happy we were to achieve state honors.
All these things and many, many more we see as we look back over our senior year. And as we try to relive them once more and realize that never will we be doing these things again, we get a lump in our throats.
Graduation will be a night of farewells to our school, our teachers, and our many friends, and farewells are always sad. But graduation is a night of beginnings, too, and as we leave school to begin a life of new experiences in a new realm, our sadness will be balanced by this new wonder and a strange happiness.
Judy Cathcart (Class History written for ninth grade
Nancy Miller graduation)
Karolyn Watters (Senior High History)
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